Despite a 118-yard, one-touchdown rushing performance by Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks lost a disappointing 19-13 decision to the Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday.
He ran for 118 yards and added another 37 on four receptions. He scored the game’s only offensive touchdown.
But even more impressive than Marshawn Lynch’s statistic on Sunday was the effort that went into them. It was like the Seahawks’ Beast Mode back was trying to will his team to victory – broken tackle by broken tackle, extra-effort spin by extra-effort spin.
“That effort Marshawn plays with is infectious,” said tight end Zach Miller. “It makes our O-linemen want to block harder for him, and a lot of times he’s carrying a lot of guys and breaking I don’t how many tackles he breaks.”
But Lynch couldn’t carry the Seahawks far enough on this afternoon at the Edward Jones Dome. The Seahawks dropped a disappointing 19-13 decision to the St. Louis Rams because rookie Greg Zuerlein kicked four field goals – including a franchise-record 60-yarder, a 58-yarder and a 48-yarder – while rookie QB Russell Wilson was throwing three interceptions.
The Rams’ lone TD came off a fake field goal, with holder Johnny Hekker throwing a 2-yard scoring pass to Danny Amendola as St. Louis scored 13 points in a 3½-minute stretch to the close the first half and open the second half.
“Definitely,” Wilson said when asked if the loss felt self-inflicted. “It’s a disappointing loss. We feel like we should have won that game. We had the opportunities.”
In addition to Lynch’s 118 rushing yards, and 18-yard TD run on the game’s opening drive, rookie Robert Turbin contributed 45 yards on six carries as the Seahawks ran for 179 yards and a 5.3-yard average.
The defense, meanwhile, was led by the disruptive push supplied by nose tackle Brandon Mebane (five solo tackles, two behind the line of scrimmage) and sacks from D-linemen Alan Branch and Jason Jones.
But the Seahawk’s loss and Rams’ victory left both team at 2-2. The Seahawks had a chance at their first 3-1 start since 2007, but let it slip away on third downs. While the Seahawks converted 2 of 9 on the pivotal down, the Rams were 5 of 13 – with each conversion a third-and-10 or longer, and each coming in a scoring drive, as QB Sam Bradford found open receivers when his team most needed them.
“That’s just awful,” strong safety Kam Chancellor said of the defense playing so well on first and second downs while allowing the Rams to sustain drives with conversions on third-and-13, third-and-14, third-and-10, third-and-10 and third-and-12.
“They get in third-and-long, that’s the sign of a good defense. But football is three downs, so we’ve just got to extend what we’re going on first and second downs.”
The Seahawks entered the game leading the league in average points allowed and ranked No. 4 in average yards allowed, but also allowing opponents to convert 44.7 percent on third downs.
“We’ve just got to find a way to finish and get off the field,” Chancellor said.
The flip side is the offense finding ways to convert on third downs.
“It’s hugely frustrating in a game like this,” Miller said of the Seahawks settling for Steven Hauschka field goals after reaching the Rams’ 12-yard line in the third quarter and 10-yard line in the fourth quarter.
“In a tight game like this, that’s what it comes down to. We score touchdowns in the red zone and it’s a different ballgame.”
What’s the problem? “I feel like we had some good plays dialed up,” Miller said. “It’s execute and getting guys open. Those are the types of things – either protection or Russell getting flushed out – we’ve got to figure out exactly what that is and do a better job scoring touchdowns.”
And, of course, do it quickly, with the team scheduled to leave on Friday for next Sunday’s game against the Panthers in Carolina – the second of four roads in the five-game stretch for the Seahawks.
“We just want to look at the film; see what we can do better, see what I can do better,” Wilson said. “Just learn from it. Move on. That game will help us down the road.”